1360: "Old Files"

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orthogon
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Re: 1360: Old Files

Postby orthogon » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:08 pm UTC

rhomboidal wrote:Those old Zip disks were great. They were like 1.44 floppies on steroids. Unfortunately, quickly banned from competition.

Anyone remember that period in the early '00s when there was no practical portable storage medium? Floppies had stopped at 1.44MB and were too small for lots of things, but USB wasn't yet fully supported in Windows. It was even worse if you had a mixed economy because Apple had stopped fitting floppy drives altogether. And as for transferring files over the Internet, well, we're still working on that. It would be interesting to see a graph showing the ratio of the the capacity of typical portable storage medium to the typical hard drive capacity; I suspect that period was a significant dip.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby jpers36 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:12 pm UTC

I remember all that time I spent playing Nyet!

Rzah
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Rzah » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:22 pm UTC

Can relate, noticed the comic was missing this common folder structure though:
~/Desktop/stuff/desktop to sort/desk march/sort me/untitled folder 89/desktop 2010/things to sort/desktop stuff/so it goes/etc/...

Sometimes I hear about old people that have died with a houseful of crap, and the family tries to sort through it and save a few memories but ultimately, its overwhelming and most of it is destined for landfill. Then I consider my computer, a few gems tossed carelessly into an ocean of crap, will my children ever sort through it? would I want them to?

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Re: 1360: Old Files

Postby Sentient Cat » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:32 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Anyone remember that period in the early '00s when there was no practical portable storage medium? Floppies had stopped at 1.44MB and were too small for lots of things, but USB wasn't yet fully supported in Windows. It was even worse if you had a mixed economy because Apple had stopped fitting floppy drives altogether. And as for transferring files over the Internet, well, we're still working on that. It would be interesting to see a graph showing the ratio of the the capacity of typical portable storage medium to the typical hard drive capacity; I suspect that period was a significant dip.

In my country (Latvia), (re)writable CDs were the storage medium of choice for that period of time. I have never even seen a Zip drive or disk.

Abrasax
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Abrasax » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:44 pm UTC

Also this is a very good representation of Moore's Law.
The sizes of the backup directories grow exponentially with time.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Xenomortis » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:45 pm UTC

The trouble with rewritable discs was a lack of convenience; I recall writing to them being slower than floppy discs.
And rewritable drives were not commonplace.
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby eidako » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:47 pm UTC

eidako wrote:blah blah blah

There's also this.
Image
Amiga music tracks, but the format wasn't created until 1987...

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby peewee_RotA » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:16 pm UTC

I was wondering where the section labeled "Porn Stash" was, but then I saw the Kazaa folder.

http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/ ... kphoto.jpg
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby wumpus » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:21 pm UTC

Just out of curiosity (I think my old files are long since gone), does anybody know how to read/update visual basic 2.0 (tokenized) files? My guess is that I needed VB3.0 or something, but never did go get it. I manged to lose my copy of visual basic 2.0, and discovered that the files were tokenized and couldn't be used in (VB5/6/whatever).

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Jackpot777
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Jackpot777 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:29 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:What are "aaafiles"?


Well duh, it's like "AAAAA Window Cleaning Service" : it's a way to make sure you show up at the top of the alphabetized list.

What, you never made a folder for storing junk and called it "zzzoldjunk" ?

BTW, the best (by which I mean worst) part about digging up those ancient files is that none of your Word or Excel (or Multiplan as us oldsters know) files can be read by the current Office suite. Gotta love that planned obsolescence. Cue the "that's why I store my files on clay tablets using LinearB" comments :oops:


OpenOffice / LibreOffice has saved the day on more than one occasion at work.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby ThemePark » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:36 pm UTC

Seems likely that Randall made the comic, due to this:

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-27141201
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NOTNOTJON
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby NOTNOTJON » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:56 pm UTC

To all those who have complained on this thread on not being able to open those old files because of out of date programs / OS's, you really might want to take some time investigating emulators and virtual OS's. I have a Win7 machine running WinXP and 98SE on Virtual PC. On THOSE I have DOSBOX and other various emulators for other OS's I've owned in the past all the way back to my Commodore 64. Each one having a 'pretty close' mirror of what it was like on the day I upgraded to a new system. This effectively allows me to go back in time and immerse myself in the stone/bronze/iron ages of my computers' past.

One a side note, there is one problem which I have not overcome. I am fairly hard on hard drives and once upon a time lost an Western Digital 80GB with quite a lot of non-backed up info on it. I want it back purely for nostalgic reasons, but the controller chip is dead. I found another identical hard drive at a garage sale a few years ago, swapped out the chip Frankenstein-style and was about to read my precious past when my wife came by and knocked up against my desk. The hard drive fell over and now makes lovely ccchhurrp ccchhurrp noises again. Anyone got an old WD 80GB HDD they no longer want to help a brother out? :?:


EDIT: ALSO
Ooh! Ooh! And a video file of a dancing female alien singing "I Will Survive".


I remember that... PURE GOLD

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Showsni » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:05 pm UTC

Ah, GORILLA... spent a lot of time playing that. Computer games in school were banned, except for "programming tools", so Computer Club (aka get inside out of the rain befire school starts club) was mostly just people playing QBasic games.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Whizbang » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:11 pm UTC

NOTNOTJON wrote: Anyone got an old WD 80GB HDD they no longer want to help a brother out? :?:


You know... I think I did have one, but let my wife take a sledgehammer to it last year. I was cleaning out stuff and said "Why am I holding onto harddrives from a million years ago when I've backed up all the files?"

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:19 pm UTC

Oh temp folders and misc.txt, what will I do with you?

Oh 4chan folder...
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What will I do with YOU?
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Xenomortis » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:22 pm UTC

Kill it with fire?
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:27 pm UTC

Showsni wrote:Ah, GORILLA... spent a lot of time playing that. Computer games in school were banned, except for "programming tools", so Computer Club (aka get inside out of the rain befire school starts club) was mostly just people playing QBasic games.


Ah, yes, the good old days before my school switched wholesale to Windows PCs and stopped letting students do any programming in order to minimise hacking...

We started with BBC Masters and upgraded to Acorn Archimedes, both of which had BASIC-derived OSes (underlying the GUI in the case of the Archimedes) before selling out to Microsoft...

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:44 pm UTC

NOTNOTJON wrote:
Ooh! Ooh! And a video file of a dancing female alien singing "I Will Survive".


I remember that... PURE GOLD


That's not an alien -- that's just how we used to dress for dance clubbing :mrgreen: (having not seen the video in question)
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Flumble » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:59 pm UTC

I'm like a librarian to my old files. There are no 5 layers of old backups, old and new documents are filed by category.
While I have a few powerpoint shows of 2001-2003 (based on metadata inside the files - no way windows has remembered them), I only got serious archive material starting from the end of 2005, which is incedentally when I left primary school and started getting homework.

Hahaha, I was making elementary games with powerpoint by the age of 10. (I didn't know gamemaker/javascript before 12) Looking back that's proabably quite remarkable. :P

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Whizbang » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:03 pm UTC

You know, file directories really cause more work than they save, IMO. If you group by date created/modified, you get unrelated things in the same folder. If you group by file type, you might get a single project's deliverables scattered all over. If you group by project, you can't view all projects' Overviews in a single list. And so on.

How do you classify something that has many attributes you'd want to search/sort by at a later date?

Cram them all into one big pool, I say, and add keywords to their properties. Search, filter, and sort by keywords.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby eidako » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:08 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:Ah, yes, the good old days before my school switched wholesale to Windows PCs and stopped letting students do any programming in order to minimise hacking...

The good old days when every Windows PC came with a copy of QBASIC, and after they removed that, debug.exe.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby freezeblade » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:40 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:Ah, yes, the good old days before my school switched wholesale to Windows PCs and stopped letting students do any programming in order to minimise hacking...


Even that did nothing. One of the first malicious/funny scripts that I put on the computer lab at school was one that would con/con each windows box at random intervals. Everyone just thought the computers were terrible, and learned to save often. Took ages for anyone to find it.
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:42 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:You know, file directories really cause more work than they save, IMO. If you group by date created/modified, you get unrelated things in the same folder. If you group by file type, you might get a single project's deliverables scattered all over. If you group by project, you can't view all projects' Overviews in a single list. And so on.

How do you classify something that has many attributes you'd want to search/sort by at a later date?

Cram them all into one big pool, I say, and add keywords to their properties. Search, filter, and sort by keywords.


Let me introduce you to the world of Virtual Folders! (aka "Smart Folders" under OS X, or "Searches" in Win7).
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Inglonias
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Inglonias » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:48 pm UTC

EV Override. That brings back memories.

I tried playing EV Nova recently, and realized just how bad the combat is. The weapons are too powerful and the ships are too slow, and the one that can outrange the other is the winner every time.

That said, I still have fond memories of it, so whatever!

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby crossalchemist » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:12 pm UTC

I keep EVERYTHING (digital).

Sometimes people ask me if I "still have that one funny picture from high school" and I say, "That's so old I have no idea."

What I mean is, "It's buried somewhere in one of the 10+ hard drives I have that haven't spun in five years... or on one of those DVD archives... or on one of those floppies in that huge box in the closet... might be on a ZIP disk... do I still have a drive for that? ...probably out at the warehouse..."

Also, don't be embarrassed Randall, I too have a "ANIMORPHS-NOVEL.RFT" floating on a drive or a disk somewhere...

jfriesne
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby jfriesne » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:37 pm UTC

My neighbor has enough old files in her "My Documents" folder that she doesn't have the time/willpower to go through them anymore -- so instead, whenever she upgrades to a new machine, she just does a "Compress Archive" of her "My Documents" folder to make a .zip file of all of them, and copies the .zip file to the new computer's "My Documents" folder.

Then on the new computer she just has the single .zip file, and more files get added over time, until it's time to upgrade again, at which point the same process repeats.

The result, a .zip file that grows like a pearl, with smaller .zip files nested several levels deep inside it. I expect she'll be running up against the .zip file format's size limits sooner or later...

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Samik
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Samik » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:58 pm UTC

Inglonias wrote:I tried playing EV Nova recently, and realized just how bad the combat is. The weapons are too powerful and the ships are too slow, and the one that can outrange the other is the winner every time.


Oooooh, nonononono. You just didn't get creative enough. I logged way too many hours in that game, mostly working on creative ship designs...

My favorite:

Spoiler:
[super geek rant]

Get on good terms with the Polaris, then hijack a Rebel Dragon Carrier, strip it, add the following:

1.) Every form of armor in the game. Carbon Fiber, Matrix Steel, Polaris armor and shielding
2.) Every available reactor/generator (solar panels, nuclear, polaris, etc)
3.) Every speed/maneuverability boost/upgrade
4.) Point defense weapons: one ion cannon, one or two polaris direct energy turrets, a couple storm chainguns (can't get the alliance quad turrets if friendly with Polaris, sadly, without mods)
5.) Forward firing direct energy weapons: Polaris beams, thunderhead lances... there's something else...


The resulting ship is one of the fastest non-fighters in the game, has nearly perfect point defense (can't be touched by even a swarm fighters, or any missile weapons except EMP torpedos), and has enough direct firepower to stand toe to toe with any ship in the game except the Vell-os Javelin, and some of the easter egg developer ships (most go down with a bit of effort).

You can literally park yourself directly in front of the strongest Polaris ship - the Scarab - right in it's wheelhouse, open fire, and down it before it drops your shields. Add in some Wraith cannons for the one ship you can't go toe to toe with (the Javelin).

The best part? If you stack every single generator in the game, it turns out you can burn afterburners non-stop, and be relentless with your direct energy weapons, without ever running out of fuel - your regen rate is faster than you can possibly use in any realistic combat situation.

The reason this all works is because the dragon carrier has way, waaay too many cargo bays for its size class / speed, so if you strip them all out, you can load the thing up like you could only normally do with a slow moving supertransport. And since its so small, some of the items that scale their cost/weight with the size of your ship (like matrix steel armor) don't have a big tonnage penalty.


I've taken on the game in this ship - swarms of Krpyt pods, entire Vell-os fleets, Polaris home defense fleets... if there was a PvP environment, I'd tear apart your best super carrier or Valkyrie V fleet without batting an eyelash.

[/super geek rant]

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StClair
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby StClair » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:01 pm UTC

First, like the poster on the first page, I cling doggedly to my DOS-era directory structure as much as possible/practical - "My Documents" is aliased to my "Downloads" folder, which is in practice a huge ball-pit of Stuff second only to the amusingly, inaccurately, and/or hubristically-named "Temp". I also have "Text", "Sounds", "Videos", and of course, "Games." (Of course, these days the last is only those few things not in Steam...)

The oldest files on my current system, by file dates, are from 1993. However, I also have disk images of Apple II floppies from circa 1985-1990 (and the originals in the closet with my Apple II).

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Sunidesus » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:16 pm UTC

On any given current computer/drive my files are very organized (via my own file structure, none of that "my documents" nonsense). However, I run into trouble when a computer/external hd dies, or when I upgrade machines. That's where I end up with the "old/graphics/sort/laptop/images/......." stuff. I should really go through those older external drives (and the crash recovery/backup folders they have on them) and get everything unified.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby teelo » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:27 pm UTC

I was an Animorphs fan back in the day, but I preferred the authors other series Remnants. Shame it wasn't nearly as popular, and only had about ten books written.

Harbard
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Harbard » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:19 pm UTC

Umm....I have an 8inch floppy disk floating around here. Who knows what's on it...probably some ASCII art/porn

My high school stuff has disappeared. The only permanent storage media back then was paper tape or punch cards.

FYI: Citadel is still around and better than every. Citadel.org

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yanfan388
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby yanfan388 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:27 pm UTC

wow, is this appropriate. i spent the week looking through old files, going back to the first fan letter i ever emailed. the most embarrassing stuph was that i used to save a lot of ascii art that people sent me at holidays. who knows? i might still send it to one of you!

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Lode
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Lode » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:52 pm UTC

Seeing this once again reminds me of how I deleted all StarCraft 1 levels, Duke Nukem 3D levels, and secondary school .doc homework files that I made, as "cleanup". Whyyyyyyy did I not keep them? :(

gorilla.bas is something I heavily modified as well! :D

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:56 pm UTC

I used to use QBasic and its successor, QuickBasic. I've still got at least some of my programs on a floppy disk that I am no longer able to read. One of these days I need to get a spare floppy drive from the school where my dad works IT and get those files off before it loses its data.

NOTNOTJON wrote:One a side note, there is one problem which I have not overcome. I am fairly hard on hard drives and once upon a time lost an Western Digital 80GB with quite a lot of non-backed up info on it. I want it back purely for nostalgic reasons, but the controller chip is dead. I found another identical hard drive at a garage sale a few years ago, swapped out the chip Frankenstein-style and was about to read my precious past when my wife came by and knocked up against my desk. The hard drive fell over and now makes lovely ccchhurrp ccchhurrp noises again. Anyone got an old WD 80GB HDD they no longer want to help a brother out? :?:

Hate to break it to you, but if the problem was caused by blunt force impact, it's most likely a head crash or something else that can't be fixed without exposing the platters.
cephalopod9 wrote:Only on Xkcd can you start a topic involving Hitler and people spend the better part of half a dozen pages arguing about the quality of Operating Systems.

Baige.

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Lode
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Re: 1360: Old Files

Postby Lode » Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:06 pm UTC

rhomboidal wrote:Those old Zip disks were great. They were like 1.44 floppies on steroids. Unfortunately, quickly banned from competition.


I don't know, to me Zip disks were always a bit "fingers crossed it doesn't fail" while copying.

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StClair
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby StClair » Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:07 pm UTC

Yeah - you can try taking it to a data recovery place, that's about your only option at this point (other than just saying goodbye).

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby CasualSax » Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:51 pm UTC

The AOL Citadel reference - is that from old school RhyDin chat room role playing? I remember there were a bunch of big guilds back then, and they all had three letter acronyms - DmC, DoG.. Wow I feel old. Should I feel better or worse that Angelfire is still hosting stuff? Like this wonderful list.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Whizbang » Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:55 pm UTC

Above ALL ELSE in Rhy'Din, death is YOUR choice!!

I want to live there.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby BlueNight » Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:10 am UTC

Hm. I can date my "old computer" layers by OS, back to the Turbo Pascal programs I wrote in high school, in a folder next to my "utils" that I kept on floppy.

Ah, hdir.com, I remember thee well. I loved seeing every file in a directory laid out side by side, grouped by extension and highlighted in one of fifteen different colors, and pausing without my having to say so.

I miss Edit. I still type it, and there's that maddening moment of confusion when it doesn't work
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and then I remember: it's gone.
---------
BlueNight

asdf28
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby asdf28 » Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:12 am UTC

The oldest files I have are from about 2005. I got my first computer in 2003.
Then in 2005, while testing out some backup tools (some of which; like svn; create lots of copies) . . . I accidentally deleted a huge amount of stuff. What I thought would merely delete the unnecessary duplicates; actually deleted lots and lots of stuff; and I didn't get around to killing it until it had run for a few minutes.


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